Always Accommodating to Sentient Beings

Yutang Lin

To save sentient beings we should lead them from state of delusion toward enlightenment; how come there are Bodhi activities under the category of "Always Accommodating to Sentient Beings"? Isn't it contrary to enlightenment but sinking into the realm of common worldly beings? This is only because sentient beings are of extremely diverse varieties and each is of individual propensities and interests, so that they are difficult to convert to Dharma, and even more difficult to be persuaded to pursue the enlightenment path, and hence, in order to ultimately benefit them, we can only accommodate to their propensities and capacities individually to provide step by step coaching and guidance, but cannot expect to liberate them immediately, in the fashion of "instant relief," from being lost in the delusions of transmigration.

A Dharma practitioner certainly would like to convert other beings toward enlightenment. Nevertheless, one is also still a worldly being among the multitude sunk in transmigration. Therefore, often one would find it difficult to persuade beings around oneself to move toward enlightenment. Rather, one could use interactions with sentient beings around one as opportunities to practice letting go of grasping and self-centeredness, and to greatly opening up one's perspectives and attitudes. To practice in this way there is no better approach than "always accommodating to sentient beings"—forgetting about one's own concerns to simply benefit others, and through always yielding to others' feelings and never standing up against others' intentions, one's grasping to self reduced in unobservable ways and one's mind widens daily, until sorrows and worries no longer show up and incomparable ease and leisure gained.

As to taking actions to devote oneself completely to Dharma practices and services, then even if it is against others' ideas, still one must attempt roundabout approaches to advance on the enlightenment path. This is because all accommodations to sentient beings aim only at their ultimate salvation, but not at their temporary appeasement. One should not seek only temporary but unsatisfactory harmony without looking after the awakening and peace that is eventually genuine. How to respond skillfully to beings surrounding one so that harmony is maintained while all are gradually moving toward enlightenment, this is the point where a practitioner need to grope for a suitable way and simultaneously is being tested in the practice of "always accommodating to sentient beings." If one could not accomplish both ends smoothly, then one must put preference to ultimately benefiting others instead of remaining stagnant in a temporary and unsatisfactory harmony.


Written in Chinese and translated on April 20, 2009
El Cerrito, California


-----Original Message-----
From: Yutang Lin
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:25 AM
To: Dharma Friends
Subject: Daily Vitamin A

This is vitamin A--A for Always Accommodating.

May all beings attain Enlightenment soon!

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